A school official seeking information regarding accrediting procedures should study the following policies in order to determine which procedures to follow. The Executive Director is available for those administrators needing clarification or additional instruction. (706-353-7090 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Steps for Becoming Accredited
- The school will complete an application (appropriate forms may be found at www.coe.uga.edu/gac) and forward it to GAC. The address and fax number of GAC are on the application. An application fee of $50.00 must be forwarded to GAC along with the school’s application. In addition, a fee of $50.00 will be paid in advance for each year’s membership.
- The school chooses a consultant from the list contained in thisBulletin or on the GAC website. If the school prefers, the GAC Executive Director will assign a consultant. The consultant will be paid $250 per day plus travel expenses by the school for each day on-site.
- The chief administrator of the school will work with the consultant and will provide the consultant and the executive director with a written statement of educational goals and the school’s written operational plan that demonstrate the functioning of the school is in agreement with each standard. The written operational plan should address directly how the school meets each standard. The plan must be forwarded to the consultant and to the Executive Director of GAC prior to consultant’s visit. School personnel are encouraged to make the plans as concise as practical with additional documentation made available to the consultant during the on-site accreditation review. After initial accreditation in Provisional, Accredited or Accredited with Quality status, the original written statement of educational goals and the school’s original written operational plan may continue to meet the requirements of this section. School leaders are encouraged to review these documents on a routine basis.
- The consultant will review the school’s written application, written statement of educational goals and the school’s written operational plan and visit the school.
- During the visit the consultant seeks evidence that the school meets GAC standards. If it does, the consultant recommends to the executive director that the school be accredited in the appropriate status. If the school does not meet GAC standards, the consultant informs the executive director. In either case, the chief administrator of the school receives a copy of the consultant’s recommendation report.
- The Executive Director of the GAC recommends appropriate action to the GAC Board of Directors. (The Executive Director of GAC has the authority to grant Preparation status).
- If the GAC Board of Directors approves Provisional, Accredited, or Accredited With Quality status for the school’s program, the Executive Director will mail the educational director a certificate suitable for display. If the school is approved for Preparation status, the Executive Director of the GAC will communicate this information to the educational director in the form of a letter.
- If the school is approved for Accredited or Accredited with Quality status, accreditation is granted for a period of five years. After five years of continuous accreditation, GAC requires an on‑site visit by a consultant. Those schools requiring an on‑site visit will receive an application from the Executive Director during the month of August. Before the on‑site visit, a school official will send to the Executive Director the completed application form and a check to cover the membership fee of $50.00 per school. The payment and the application are due in the GAC office before November 30. A penalty fee will be charged for applications received after November 30. The consultant’s fee for the on‑site visit is $250 per day plus travel expenses. Travel expenses include mileage at the State rate and personal costs (motel and meals), if any. The consultant’s fee and expenses are paid by the school or school system directly to the consultant.
- During the years when an on‑site visit is not required, each school or school system seeking Continuing Accreditation status must complete a continuing application form. Blank application forms along with a certificate of accreditation will be mailed to each school or school system during the month of August. The application for Continuing Accreditation status and a check to cover the membership fee of $50.00 per school must reach the GAC office before November 30. A change in status from Preparation to Provisional, from Provisional to Accredited, or from Accredited to Accredited With Quality requires a consultant visit and positive recommendation, except when the school has been dropped in status because of deficiencies. Schools dropped one step in status for deficiencies may be restored to original status the next year by removing the deficiencies for which the school was dropped in status.
- For accreditation of kindergarten the school official has the option of requesting that the kindergarten be accredited as part of the elementary school, as part of the Pre-Kindergarten Program, or accredited as a separate unit. The school official chooses the accreditation status that would best reflect the quality of his or her school program. Regardless of the option chosen by the school official, an application form is required from the school requesting accreditation status for the kindergarten. A school official may choose to exclude the kindergarten from the elementary school accreditation report. If the kindergarten is not included with the accreditation report of the elementary school, the reference to the kindergarten will be excluded from the GAC report. If the kindergarten is accredited separately, a $50.00 membership fee is required for the kindergarten program for the individual school.
- The Executive Director makes a recommendation regarding the accrediting of the school to the full membership of the GAC Board. The decision reached on each application applies to the current school year. For example, if the GAC Board of Commissioners votes to grant accreditation at the board’s September meeting or at its March meeting, the accreditation awarded is effective retroactively to July 1st of the current school year.